Monthly Archives: January 2010

What a Difference A Week Makes

A week ago, palm trees.

Yesterday’s Saturday Sky:

At about 7 am, halfway to Altoona, Wisconsin.

Why Altoona?  you may ask.  Reasonably enough.

Well, The RockStar (teen daughter) had a show choir competition, and had just found out a couple days ago that she was going to be singing a vocal solo.  I didn’t think I could go up to hear her do it (I wasn’t sure if she was going to keep performing it in the show), but circumstances changed and I was able to.  

Without her knowing (the group had gone up the night before, for an early morning performance Saturday), I drove up with my father to see her and the show choir perform.

She did great.

This is her thing, sure enough.  Or one of them.  She’s very good at it!

Nor does she suffer from any excess of shyness . . . perhaps that comes across.

P.S.  If you didn’t know there was an Altoona, WI, you’re not alone.  It’s a small former railroad town outside Eau Claire, 1/10 the size of Altoona PA.  But now I can say I’ve been there!

Look But Don’t Touch Eye Candy Friday

Pretty, but don’t get too close.  Kind of like my teen sometimes.

(Fortunately, she is not in actual fact a washed-up jellyfish Portuguese man o’war.)

Back, and Knitting

Heh, I’m so glad you all haven’t given up on me (that is, still have Le Blog on your blogreaders, anyway!).  Work and shark-like competition for the home computer have conspired to make me a blogger in absentia.  Though I take  pictures for the blog all the time, and come up with blog posts in my head….

Perhaps if I had an iPhone, so I could blog when I thought of it?  Nah, ’cause I still like to upload and play with pictures at home.

Anyway, yes, as some of you surmised, I just returned (only hours ago) from Florida.  It was a work trip, and I was actually busy all day every day.  So I saw little sun (that’s OK, sunlight doesn’t like my pale Wisconsin skin, and there was little sun while I was there anyway).  But on the way to and from the meetings, I stole some time to walk on the beach; short, though, with the short days.

The Fort Lauderdale residents didn’t think that the weather wasn’t so good, but as long as no down coat was required, I was quite happy.  (Granted, this morning with torrential downpours, I was willing to agree to classify that as bad weather, especially when it meant I almost didn’t make it home by plane.  But all was well in the end.)

I spent a lot of time in an educational meeting, which meant lots of knitting time then, as well as knitting time in the evenings, since I was there alone.  I finished a couple smaller projects.

In fact, I cast on a new project in order to have a garter stitch easy-peasy project to do during the meeting without looking or thinking, basically, and here it is:

Some stash yarn which is not seen to advantage, Cherry Tree Hill Glitter Alpaca from eBay days.  My plan is to knit in plain garter stitch for … a while… then knit a big chunk of fagoting or some other similar very open lace, then end with a few garter stitch rows again, I think.  Very simple for this variegated yarn with a twist of glitter woven in.  I wanted a big,  warm, easy shawl, though.

However, the above illustrates the problem with casting on when you’ve had only a few hours of sleep, as was the case the day I arrived (working very late to get things done before I left, finishing up laundry then packing way past midnight, then waking up at 4 am to leave).  I kind of intended this to be a half-circle shape shawl.  Not a square….my addled brain that set up the cast-on row took a while to figure that out.

Well, I have plenty (WAY plenty) of this yarn.  And I wanted mindless knitting. Be careful what you ask for, hmm?  I didn’t care enough about the shape to rip it out, so a square shawl it will be.

I was a little more successful with the shawl I recently knit, which I brought with me for air conditioning needs.  (And was I ever glad I did.  Why 68 degrees F inside?  Why?  I don’t like it in winter, let alone summer!)  I designed and knit this shawl, which I’m calling the Elodea Shawl, for a Loopy Ewe knitalong that ran October through December of last year.  (Here are some of the other shawls:  the only requirement for the KAL was that it be a shawl knit in that time frame from Loopy Ewe yarn.  There are some lovely shawls there!)

In knitting this shawl, I was experimenting with two things: shoulder shaping with increases, and using the Vine Lace pattern in a triangle shawl.
The first experiment, I’m ambivalent about.  It looks OK above, but kind of odd otherwise:

But the second worked out, after proving more difficult than I thought it would be.  (Now I know why there were only rectangular stole-type patterns with this stitch, when I searched!)  Adapting a 9-stitch pattern, where the pattern shifts back and forth by one every other row, proved tricksy.  However, I came up with a twist that seemed to do the trick.  I’ll have to write it up sometime, the chart at the very least.

The shawl’s name came from the lovely species name for …


I thought the Vine Lace pattern, knit in a lovely blue-green colorway (this is delightful Dream in Color Smooshy in a limited colorway, Ocean Current) looked rather like seaweed.  But the photo with which I started the post notwithstanding, I live about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get in North America.  (I know some of you are there with me.)  So it seemed strange to name the shawl after seaweed. But I am very familiar with Elodea, Canadian waterweed, which is in practically every body of water I’ve ever canoed up North here!  And the shawl stitch pattern, running the direction it does, really does remind me of the plant.  (Such a pretty name, though! El – oh – DEE – ah.)


I started out saying that I’d brought this along, and was so glad I did.  It was surprisingly versatile, as a shoulder shawl as above, but also around my neck like a scarf for extra warmth when I was wearing a long-sleeved jacket (and STILL cold).  Ah, the wonders of wool.

You can understand my panic when I found it gone from my bag after walking on the (windy) beach!

After retracing my steps a half mile or so (you don’t realize how far you are going when you’re taking pictures and looking for shells), I found it blown halfway up on the beach.  Thank all powers that be.

Apparently, it got dislodged when I pulled my camera out to take this picture

and then the gusty wind took it from there.

(Not a seagull taking it from there, fortunately.)

I am going to have more lovely pictures to share in days to come (don’t hate me, please), but one of my favorite pictures from my brief and educational trip to parts subtropical is this one:

Now that’s my idea of paradise.  (All I needed was a really good coffee at hand, actually. )

Saturday Sky from my laptop

Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas Wisconsin any more.

Happy New 2010

(taken from a second-story window last night at 12:01! )

Happy New Year,  and may this year bring all good things to you and your families.